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MISSION

The Chicago “DODO” Chapter of Tuskegee Airmen Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization whose mission is to

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perpetuate the historic legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen and to encourage and assist minority youth in pursuing post-secondary education and careers in the aerospace industry.

Post-secondary education is the preparation pipeline and successful aerospace careers the desired end result of CDCTAI’s youth outreach program activities, aimed at primary and secondary (K-12) students. CDCTAI’s Young Eagles program, classroom visits and other Chicago Chapter appearances, aviation education programs and scholarships to secondary level students are all enabling devices used by CDCTAI to encourage and assist young men and women in taking the next step on their educational or career paths. Our goal is to help as many students as possible achieve their dreams by encouraging them to visualize their potential at an early age and take the actions necessary to realize those possibilities and turn their dreams into reality.

Some of CDCTAI’s programs and recent activities are

“DOUBLE VICTORY” FILM

On January 16, 2012, the Chicago “DODO” Chapter of Tuskegee Airmen (CDCTAI) hosted a day long series of FREE screenings of the documentary “Double Victory.”  This event, targeted at students and educators, was held at the ICE Theaters Chatham 14 in Chicago, and shown to approximately 1000 students, educators and community leaders.  Each of the students attending that event received a FREE voucher to see the LucasFilm’s movie Red Tails; a story inspired by the legendary accomplishments of the Tuskegee Airmen.

“Double Victory, the ideal companion piece to “Red Tails,” is a documentary which chronicles the true events and experiences of the Tuskegee Airmen and includes historical interviews with surviving members. During a period when America was still firmly locked in the grip of segregation, the Tuskegee Airmen were the first African-American military aviators allowed to fly and fight on behalf of the United States. With their courage and perseverance, they started a chain reaction that paved the way for the America that we presently live in today.

Write to us at vsaunders9718@att.net to schedule a showing of “Double Victory” at your organization.

CDCTAI YOUNG EAGLES PROGRAM

The Young Eagles program developed by the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) introduces youth ages 8-17 to the exciting world of powered flight.   The program includes a ground orientation to the principles of flight, an introduction to the aircraft’s systems and controls, and, of course the highlight, an introductory flight where the student can experience the joy and excitement of flight first-hand. The Young Eagles program is fully insured and has an excellent safety record.

After each flight the student receives a special certificate signed by his or her pilot and the student’s name is entered in the World’s Largest Logbook at the EAA Air Adventure Museum at EAA headquarters in Oshkosh, WI.

The objective of the program is to introduce as many young people as possible to the field of aviation.  In turn, this also helps us achieve our goal of encouraging teens to stay excited about school, working hard, following their dreams and perhaps becoming the next generation of America’s pilots and aerospace professionals.

Our Young Eagles rallies are held the 2nd Saturday of every month at the Gary-Chicago International Airport.  Flights usually begin at 9:00 am from the airport terminal building.

For scheduling details, call our hotline at 773/602-2880.

AVIATION CAREER EDUCATION CAMP

The ACE (Aviation Career Education) Camp at Lewis University is a “Residential” (overnight) camp in the Chicago / Bolingbrook area.  The program is usually held in mid-late July and targets students between the ages of 13 – 18 who have earned a “C” grade point average. The cost for this program is $350 which covers room, board, a plane ride and bus transportation to various locations including a major aviation event in OshKosh, WI.  Also provided are supplies such as a t-shirts, kits to build rockets, etc.

We also sponsor a “non-residential” ACE Camp during most summers.  This program is held at Wright College in Chicago and has a Day Camp type structure.  The camp at Wright College currently costs $155 since we don’t have to incur any lodging expenses or provide as many meals.

For further information on either of these programs please contact the chapter’s Chief Pilot Ken Rapier at:    skyking332nd@aol.com

EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

Through our Educational Assistance Program (EAP) our chapter grants financial awards of $1,000 and $1,500 to students who demonstrate the qualities of the Tuskegee Airmen.

Although in 2011 we were only able to award 6 scholarships, in 2010, we disbursed $1,000 & $1,500 awards to 16 well deserving students.  With your support, we hope to get the number of our 2012 awards back into the double digits.

For EAP program information contact Charlie Richardson at: cmsrichardson@aol.com

APPEARANCES AND PRESENTATIONS

Helping to preserve the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen by telling their story at schools, corporate presentations and celebratory appearances is a primary outreach activity of our chapter.  Interest in the history of the Tuskegee Airmen has continued to grow over the last few decades, as people have sought more information about these legendary aviators.

This is a subject often glossed over or completely overlooked in most textbooks and American History class lesson plans.

Interest in the Tuskegee Airmen has become even more pronounced since March 29th 2007 when over 300 surviving original Tuskegee Airmen received the Congressional Gold Medal from President Bush for their efforts in helping America to achieve the “Double V” (Victories over both Fascism & Racism).

For Appearances:  Contact Melvin Knazze at

(773/221-2117) or melvinkna@yahoo.com.


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